Last chance to enter our Ewards!

Time 13 years ago

TIME is running out if you want to enter the Car Dealer Ewards in association with

We’re excepting entries up until 5pm on OCOTBER 17 so you better be quick. All you need to do to enter is send your website’s URL to us using the Contact Us page which can be found by clicking the link in the top right of this page.

If you want to include a few words as to why you think your site should win then feel free, if not just send us the website address and we’ll do the rest!

More details on the Ewards can be found here:













Category: Franchised




THIS month’s featured entrant in the Car Dealer Ewards in association with has one clear aim – to be the best in its class. 


It’s a bold target and one that Citygate is hoping will be proved right as the judges look for a winner in the Franchised Car Dealer Website of the Year category.


Simon Bennett, marketing and communications manager for Citygate, told Car Dealer the VW dealer group had a clear plan when it came to designing the site.


‘The principle objective for the website was to take it from an online sales brochure to an interactive communication hub for customers,’ explained Bennett.


‘We were determined to make our site highly relevant, informative and timely to ensure customers return again and again. With the increasing prevalence of internet use, it is perhaps no surprise that we sought to make our website the best in class.’


A plan was formulated before inception and sticking to this has helped Citygate come up with a smart site. A super slick, interactive bar with images scrolls through the latest deals on the homepage while flash pictures highlight other offers at the top of the page.


There’s even a scrolling news bar with the latest stories for motorists as well as the option to book a service online and search for a used car from the homepage. 


‘A crucial part of our plan was to make navigating the site clean and simple,’ adds Bennett. ‘Several main sections were created, the contents of which are clearly visible on the home page. The new cars section not only has information about current models and finance options but also lets customers book a test drive and learn about the latest concept cars from Volkswagen.


‘Booking a service is simple, with a choice of events and locations. But the piece de resistance of the aftersales section is the Citygate4Life members’ area. Here, after logging in, customers are taken to their own micro-site giving details of their vehicle’s service history, membership special offers, new benefits and much more.’


Clever stuff indeed, and the site’s proved its worth by making a real difference to the company’s bottom line. 


‘In pure financial terms, the site provides an additional income stream of about £8,000 per month, but it is the customer engagement that is of far more importance,’ explained Bennett.


‘Traffic to the site has more than doubled, with more than 500 visitors every day and, importantly, 60 per cent of these visitors are spending more than two mi
nutes o
n the portal.’


It’s certainly impressive stuff – and our judges liked it too. Katie Armitage, marketing manager for Ewards headline sponsor, said: ‘The Citygate site has nice, clear navigation and the contact details are very prominent. It has a logical and simple car search engine and some great pictures of cars. We particularly like the car of the day idea. Our only problem when using the site was that we found some of the “new cars” left-hand navigation panel jumped around a bit after rolling over the model range link, but overall the Citygate portal is a nice site.’


We also asked judge Peter McCullough, CAP’s business development director, to cast his eye over the Citygate entry. 


‘Visually and technically the site works well and holds up in all modern browsers, reinforcing brand values,’ explained McCullough.


‘The home page is dominated with a collection of offers, but all areas are quickly available with almost a single click in every case. There’s a good consistency throughout the site and I like the excellent user experience on the online service booking process.


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‘The used vehicle search areas are fast and effective, with good images, though it was not possible to search for a specific derivative. The big weakness of the site is the lack of detail provided on the used vehicles – no environment, running cost or fuel performance figures and little specification or optional extra details – so vital on a used vehicle.’


The Citygate offering now goes forward with the other entries sent in this month to the short-listing and judging phases of the Car Dealer Ewards in association with


If you think your website rivals the Citygate offering, there is still time to get your entry in. We’re excepting entries right up to 5pm on OCTOBER 17 so make sure you’ve emailed by then. For more details see the panel on the right.



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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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